Report on 54th Old Belvedere Open Handicap



Mens ChampionshipMens HandicapLadies HandicapVets Handicap

Tournament Report

It happens every year without fail, an email encouraging you to get off the couch, and back onto the squash court. The time has come to get rid of those mince pie induced kilos and do battle.

It all started fifty years ago and the chaps down atAnglesea Roadnever give up. Even if you have no intention of entering the Handicap Tournament they’ll put you down anyway. There is no better start to the New Year than a heady dose of adrenalin and as you give away point after point to some young whippersnapper, it’s only that adrenalin and the fear for your reputation that keeps you battling on.

A Handicap Tournament is fantastic. It gives lower ranked players the opportunity to play against people they never play and when they get a few points and even win a few games it’s a great boost to the confidence. But what happens when you find yourself in a tournament where your fifteen year old son is also competing? Could you bear it if you had to play him? And what if you lost?

Well it didn’t quite come to that, but darned close in the case of Donal Kelly and his son Ryan. Luckily for Donal he was narrowly beaten in the semi-final thus avoiding a face off against his son in the final.

But what if he had been in the final? With his wife and other son present, who would they have been cheering for? Talk about excitement. In the event the fifteen year old Ryan beat everyone, winning the Perpetual Cup and had so much energy left he stayed on the court to play his little brother. That’s youth for you.

As always Sandycove Squash Club turned out in force, this time bringing along a squad of new players. In the final of the Vet’s Handicap Brian Hickey wearing his signature headband put on his usual performance, flying around the court entertaining the crowd and beating David Dumigan 3 -1.

There is nothing like a bit of new blood to give life to a competition and this year two new young women players – Gillian Ryan and Catriona Fitzgerald took on the old hands. Congratulations must go to Catriona who only started playing two years ago, yet managed to carry off The Plate. Watch this space!

Bernie Geoghegan a regular entrant to The Handicap Tournament beat off an old rival Gay Grant to win 3 -1 in the final of the Women’s Competition taking home the Perpetual Cup beautifully polished by the last winner, no other than the mother of the aforementioned Ryan.

As might have been expected in the Men’s Championship the final battle was fought between the Number 1 and Number 2 seeds – Rory Byrne and Dara O’Flynn respectively. In a closely fought five setter Rory emerged as the winner and was presented with the huge silver cup.

Meanwhile over on the other court The Plate match between the fifth and sixth seeds – Tom Crowe and Stephen Fasenfeld kept the spectators on their toes, trying to watch two matches at the same time. Again it was a five setter and only a matter of two points 14 -12 separated Stephen from the prize.

Sixty-six players turned out this year and all are very appreciative of the generous sponsorship of Goodbody Stockbrokers which makes it possible. 

Details of all matches in the tournament can be HERE:  

A Handicap Tournament every year for fifty years. What an achievement.

Deirdre Davys